Two key goalies found new homes over the last 24 hours.
First, Sean Burke was picked up out of the free agency pool by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts will be paying the 38-year old journeyman $3.2M over two seasons, which in my opinion is about $3.1M more than he deserves (I'll get to that later). This will be his eighth team in his 17-year career, including two stops in Philly and a stint with Hartford/Carolina. He's been involved in a number of trades, including a January 1998 multi-player trade that sent him, Geoff Sanderson and another player to Vancouver for goaltender Kirk McLean and Marty Gelinas.
As you may or may not recall, the impetus for that specific trade was Burke's domestic abuse arrest in November 1997. After the incident, Burke denied the charges against him, but ultimately plead guilty. From what I've heard, this was not the first time he had beaten his wife, Leslie. I generally don't have any use for wife-beaters, and this is certainly the case here.
Apparently, many clubs were aggressively courting Burke, including the Penguins, who ended up signing Jocelyn Thibault . The 11-year veteran and one-time All-Star missed 60 games with the Blackhawks in 2003-04 due to hip surgery. I'm not sure what the plans are for M-A Fleury. Perhaps they'll platoon in goal, which seems to be a new trend with all these teams having two #1 goalies.
And the goalie merry-go-round continues to spin.
I give Tampa a D- on their change in net. They lost out on Khabibulin and picked up a very marginal (not to mention scum of the earth) Sean Burke. Bad. Very bad.
I give Chicago an A. Although Thibault is excellent, his hip is a big question mark. They couldn't have done any better than the Bulin Wall. Very solid pick-up.
Penguins will get a B-. As stated above, Thibault is kind of a question mark. His experience will be a big plus, as Emma Fleury will still need some guidance. He's also (if healthy) a very good keeper. It'll be interesting to see how that goalkeeping scenario unfolds in Pittsburgh.
3 years ago